09 Mar Help a Beneficiary Out!
There is currently a bill working its way through the Florida legislature that would require life insurance companies to attempt to find beneficiaries for deceased insureds. The bill would require the insurance companies to review the Social Security Death Master list once a year and search for the beneficiaries of the deceased’s’ life insurance contracts.
You can review the article here (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/consumer/fl-life-insurance-death-search-bill-20160222-story.html )
This would be a huge win for consumers, as the insurance industry sits on billions of unclaimed benefits year after year, earning interest on the money. Currently there is no requirement for finding the beneficiaries and paying out the money that is rightfully theirs.
In my practice, we have uncovered forgotten policies by accident. In one such case, a client collected several hundred thousands of dollars on a policy his father had taken out, and no one knew about. The father had passed away over 10 years prior to this policy being discovered.
During Open Enrollment meetings with clients’ employees, we stress the need to let your beneficiaries KNOW they are entitled to money in the event of your death.
We also suggest a written list of all insurance policies. Include pertinent details like Insurance Company, policy number, beneficiaries, death benefit amount, and carrier contact information. There should be several copies of this list. One kept with the will and actual policies, another with other important papers like your car registrations or mortgage information, and another with a responsible family member.
This list will make sure that nothing is forgotten or missed. It makes the process of collecting on these policies much less stressful for the loved ones left behind.
So, even if this law passes, do yourself and your loved ones a favor. Put together the list and make sure everyone understands how it impacts them. They will be grateful you did.